Improve your LCD monitor’s picture quality

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One of the easiest ways to vastly improve the quality of the images that come out of an LCD monitor is by using the monitor’s DVI connector and connecting that to a video card that is DVI enabled. The reason for this is very simple. LCD monitors actually use digital connections, but it suffers a performance hit when it is connected using the VGA connector, which is an analog connection. What happens here is that the VGA signal still has to be converted from analog to digital that results in a loss in overall image quality.To ensure that you get the most out of your LCD monitor make sure that your video card and LCD monitor both have DVI connectors. The DVI connector is usually white and rectangular with holes for the pins. If you have confirmed that you have these connections then you should buy a DVI male to male connector and connect one end to the DVI connector of the video card and another end to the LCD monitor’s DVI connector.

When you have made the connections turn on both the LCD monitor and the PC. The next step is to set the LCD monitor to read the signal from the DVI input. You should consult your LCD monitor’s manual for this as each model or brand has its own set of instructions. When you have done this, you simply need to right click on the desktop to open the Display window. Go to Settings and slide the slider of the Screen Resolution to set your resolution to the optimal setting for the LCD.

It’s an OC’ed world

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I admit it, my math skills are not the greatest. I’m a great fan of computers and everything involved with it but one thing that really whizzes through my head whenever it is discussed is the subject of overclocking. There is just too many numbers involved and need to be considered for me to really understand it. That is the reason why I have never really attempted to overclock my processor, my video card or my RAM.But fortunately, I saw this great forum that discussed overclocking in a manner that is quite easy to understand and follow. The forum at devhardware.com essentially deals with now to overclock your video card so you can squeeze more juice from the card itself thereby making the video card run at higher clock speeds. This then allows you to put the settings on the games that you are playing on higher parameters making the graphics look better.

Overclocking can be a nightmare when it comes to the actual implementation phase. But the forum threads started in devhardware.com are really quite helpful for PC users of all skill levels. There is even a sticky thread on a beginner’s guide on how to overclock a video card. That in itself is worth the price of registration, so to speak (registration is of course free!). Another advantage is that there are threads started on the different video cards that are available in the market. This means that you will likely find a fellow PC user who may also be using the same 9600 pro card that you have.

Know your laptop

laptop1.jpgOne of my gripes whenever I go to various online forums is that most people really do not take the time to get to know their machines or, worse, read up on what they plan to buy. How many times have we encountered people who whip out those high tech electronic gadgets that we could only dream of owning if not for the fact that we have to eat. But then when asked about those same gadgets the owners would shrug their shoulders and not even know how to properly use it? We’re talking about PDAs, cell phones, blackberries, and yes, even PCs and laptops.A couple of days ago, I was looking around online for a good but affordable laptop cooler for my trusty Acer when I stumbled onto this thread on Overclockers.net. The threadstarter was asking help in how he can upgrade the “video card” of his laptop. The guy, god bless him, obviously did not read about laptops first before he bought one. His contention for changing his video card was because he has a relative who has the “same” laptop but with an ATI GPU.

Yes, any person has a right to ask a question in any forum. But these are the kind of questions that could have been readily answered if they had taken the time to actually research the laptop that they purchase. The bad thing about just blindly buying something like a laptop is that you may actually be looking for a particular feature but then find out after you have bought it that it does not have it. Bummer, right?

Troubleshooting the Video Card

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One of the components of a computer that can bring the most amount of irritation is the video card. This is simply because if you can’t see anything properly then you would not even have the chance to repair it on your own and this frustration can result in some serious hair pulling or damage to other computer components like the mouse (many a mice have I damaged because I’d throw it in frustration over a faulty monitor or video card).Some of the more common problems with video cards come from unwieldy IRQs and bad drivers. One of the words problems though is a badly tweaked video card that inadvertently overdrives the monitor because this can irreparably damage the monitor.

Other common problems that can be traced back to the video card are faulty refresh rates, resolutions and color depth settings that are just out of whack. But these are problems that can be remedied quite easily. All one needs to do is to go the control panel in Windows to tweak the settings and it usually solves the problem. Another option would be to buy a monitor that would support the native settings of the video card.

How can one tell if the video card is giving a lot of problems to the system? Here are some of the symptoms:

* The image on the monitor appear scrambled or distorted

* Images look shrunken or there is a double or even triple image

* You hear a high pitched whine from the monitor, one of the most obvious symptoms of a bad problem

* The screen turns blank

If you manage to rectify the problem at an early stage then there is a good chance that no permanent damage has been done to your system.

Choosing a video card: Different Slot Types

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A video card is one of the most crucial parts of your computer. Without it, you will not be able to see anything on your monitor – and what good is a computer where you can’t see anything right?With the advent of PC gaming, video cards have become caught in a constant cycle of improvements to bring the most realistic level of graphics to gamers and even casual computer users.

So what if you are a gamer, what should you be looking for a video card in order to get the most gaming goodness out of this PC peripheral?

First of all, you must decide what kind of connection the video card will be using in your motherboard. Currently, there are three video card slot types that are used by mother boards.

PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect is considered as the old standard and was quite popular in computer systems years ago. PCI video cards are relatively faster than integrated video options (a built in video card on the motherboard) but is the slowest among the dedicated graphics slot types. This option is actually considered as obsolete.

AGP or Accelerated Graphics Port is the acknowledged standard for graphics and only one AGP port can exist in a motherboard. The current AGP standard is called AGP 3.0 or otherwise known as AGP 8x. AGP is much faster than PCI because it has a dedicated connection.

The newest kid on the block is called PCI-Express or PCI-E. This is the fastest among three video slot types. More and more motherboards are now offering PCI-E slots for video cards. Each lane in PCI-E is clocked at 2.5Gigabits per second. Most high end video cards usually come in PCI-E variants to showcase its high-quality graphics capabilities.